The molecular biologist Frédéric Santer from the University Clinic for Urology in innsbruck The project focuses on so-called cancer stem cells, in medicine “a big issue”, as he explained in the broadcast. Many types of cancer would have a cell type that is very similar to stem cells and a precursor to different ones Cancer cells be. The resistance of cancer stem cells is problematic – those who survive therapy are held responsible for the return of cancer in cured people.
The radiation causes DNA damage
In their study, the scientists also used tissue samples from patients Prostate cancer. They cultivated the cell samples and irradiated them in the same way that cancer patients are irradiated. “The Radiation triggers DNA damage. If this damage is too large to be repaired by repair mechanisms, the cell usually dies, “explained Gentler. Those cells that were resistant to the radiation and survived were finally compared to the original tissue.
In particular, the researchers were interested in the so-called gene expression, i.e. the process in which genes give the command to build protein structures. The gene code is read in the cell nucleus and converted into RNA. “We found that two important processes of radiation-resistant cells are weakened,” he said Gentler.